World Cup without Italy would be a 'disaster', says Low

The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

Sweden will secure a spot at World Cup 2018 should they complete a famous World Cup qualification play-off victory against Italy in Milan on Monday. "At the moment, however, I don't even want to think about it".

Italy were second to Spain in the group phase and never recovered from their confidence-denting 3-0 defeat early in September at Madrid.

Ventura has come under fire for stubbornly sticking to a failing tactical system.

Marco Verratti misses out on the action through suspension and is expected to be replaced in the starting XI by Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne.

Italy's veteran goalkeeper and captain, Gianluigi Buffon, said the team was in a state of "high tension".

The first is that the four-time world champions fail to qualify for Russian Federation 2018 and a curtain falls on the worldwide careers of half the team, including Daniele De Rossi, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and the icon that is Gianluigi Buffon.

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"Losing forbidden", wrote Turin mayor Chiara Appendino on Twitter with a joke in reference to Ikea, the most famous Swedish brand in the world: "They are famous for making homes welcoming, it would be a shame not to send them home".

"I would love for those who come to the stadium tomorrow to take off their club colours and all wear the Azzurri jersey that unites us all".

Italian football legend Andrea Pirlo who announced his retirement last week reportedly said, "Italy looked like a scared team that was playing for a 0-0 draw".

"The pressure is all on them", said the former Genoa player.

The 39-year-old Buffon - bidding to reach a record sixth World Cup Finals in Russian Federation - is one of the last survivors of Italy's golden generation of 2006 World Cup winners.

Coach Ventura is under enormous pressure and will nearly certainly lose his job should Italy fail, while some are even expecting him to be sacked regardless of Monday's result, with Carlo Ancelotti waiting in the wings.

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